1 "Party Rock Anthem" LMFAO - We thought this group was a Black Eyed Peas ripoff (two weird dudes, one hot girl) when we first saw them on some TV show. Then we heard the song. The zippy backbeat and tweaky synth melody got our vote for song of the year.
2 "Last Friday Night" Katy Perry - We heard about parties like this in high school but never attended one in person. Catchy and memorable. Great twist also in that the disastrous, black-out events of last Friday will soon be repeated this Friday. The stubborn, reckless stupidity of youth.
3 "We Found Love" Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris - No idea what the verses say, but that soaring chorus is nothing short of amazing. "We found love in a hopeless place." Evocative.
4 "Give Me Everything" Pitbull - Another of those techno hip-hop songs (with yet another LMFAO-style earworm synth hook) that we know we shouldn't like, but then can't help ourselves. Pitbull was everywhere this year - you couldn't turn on a music program without seeing him hamming it up.
5 "Firework" Katy Perry - A cheesy, transparent, overly earnest attempt to create an empowerment anthem. We know. But we still like it. For those very reasons.
6 "E.T." Katy Perry featuring Katy Perry - Gee, we really must like Katy Perry. So be it. This one isn't her usual peppy, polished pop music jewel. It's weird and dark and oddly robotic. "Infect me with your love and fill me with your poison." What do you suppose that means?
7 "Rolling in the Deep" Adele - Objectively, this should probably be the song of the year. Nothing else was as ubiquitous or beloved. But despite the hook and Adele's big-belted vocals, it's not exactly the kind of thing you can sing along to. And it was way overplayed. We heard it everywhere to the point of diminishing returns.
8 "Born This Way" Lady Gaga - There are better Gaga songs, but it's solid and hooky. Plus, we found this one unfairly attacked for sounding too Madonna. Strange, since Madonna hasn't sounded like Madonna since 1998.
9 "Grenade" Bruno Mars - The Bruno Mars phenomenon is a curious one. He's talented and silky smooth, sure, but we can't quite connect. Lil' Fry did love the "Lazy Song" video, however, with the dancers in monkey masks. So bonus points for that.
10 "Someone Like You" Adele - Powerful and poignant. But we ask you: would you really pay to see her sing this live on stage in concert? It's soooo slow... and soooo dreary.
11 "Moves Like Jagger" Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera - We're big fans of Maroon 5. How can you not love the whistling? But we have to take away points for invoking the image of a rock star 30 years past his prime.
12 "Hold It Against Me" Britney Spears - Wouldn't know it if we heard it. And proud to say so.
13 "Black and Yellow" Wiz Khalifa - All we know is that it was maybe inspired by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
14 "S&M" Rihanna featuring Britney Spears - Huh?